2020 has proven to be a revolutionary year for healthcare. With the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have been forced to find new ways to provide safe and effective care without risking the health of their clients. Most prominently, we’ve seen a surge in the number of types of practitioners leveraging telehealth in their practices and insurance payers adopting widespread coverage policies and adaptations for telehealth.
Now, as we close in on 2021, the future of the health and wellness industry remains somewhat uncertain, due to the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic. Healthcare providers are being forced to reflect on how their current care strategies will hold up over the next year, and examine new strategies and trends for 2021. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top health and wellness trends that have been identified for the next year so that our providers can ensure their business is ready to adapt for another critical year for healthcare.
Trends In the Health and Wellness Industry for 2021
1. Increased use of reporting and analytics
In recent years, healthcare data reporting and analytics have gained traction as a way to gain insight and support decision making within healthcare systems. Many agree that a reporting and analytics strategy is absolutely necessary for their success, leading to a trend of more and more health systems implementing strategies and allocating budgets for building new data infrastructure.
This increased use of healthcare data can be attributed to its key role in allowing practitioners not only to identify current trends within patients but also to predict future outcomes and trends. As EHRs advance in their tracking capabilities, data can easily be pulled and consolidated to be analyzed by supervisors.
Additionally, healthcare data analytics reporting can allow supervisors to monitor provider performance across an organization. Measure data such as patient outcomes, appointment lengths, revenue generated, and patient satisfaction for individual providers. Supervisors can then leverage this data to identify providers ready for a promotion or raise and on the other hand, identify providers who need extra training and support in their current position.
How Healthie fits: Healthie’s reporting feature is already equipped to track both business analytics and patient outcomes. Our team can also create custom reports based on your business’ needs. Learn more here.
2. Shifting towards value-based care
2020 has challenged healthcare providers to find secure and effective ways to continue to provide high-quality care to their patients. Many practitioners are beginning to implement a value-based approach to care, which means they are reimbursed based on their patients’ health outcomes, rather than by each service provided. Patients, therefore, see lower healthcare costs and providers improve patient satisfaction due to improved patient conditions.
The Center for Medicare Services has a number of value-based payment programs for Medicare providers and patients. Providers are reimbursed through incentive payments, determined by the quality of care given to their patients. In September, CMS began to push for individual states to increase their adoption of value-based care within healthcare systems, improving the accessibility of value-based care for Medicare beneficiaries. In 2021, we will likely see a trend of value-based care being pushed to the forefront of many health systems with the goal of improving healthcare costs and quality of care.
How Healthie fits: Healthie’s insurance billing platform allows you to easily generate insurance forms, submit them to your clearinghouse, and track claim status.
3. Wearable technology integrations
As wearable technology, such as Fitbits and Apple Watches, advances, the implications for patient care are widespread. Wearable technology is a great tool, as it allows you to track additional metrics and create new goals with patients. In 2021, wearable trackers will become increasingly more compliant with EHR systems, allowing an additional way for providers to connect with their patients.
With syncing capabilities, providers can easily check in on client progress each day, offering feedback and motivation. Being able to see daily progress, especially from metrics not usually tracked by wellness professionals, allows providers to have a more comprehensive view of a client’s journey when working with them. The extra data from wearables gives providers the ability to personalize wellness goals, so they are realistic and achievable for clients.
How Healthie fits: Healthie’s EHR and patient engagement platform already has the capability to sync with your patients’ wearable technology. Data from their device will automatically sync with their portal, making for easy metrics tracking and outcomes measurement. Learn more here.
4. Increasingly secure APIs
APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, act as a software intermediary between different applications, allowing interoperability. APIs are commonly used in EHR platforms both for integrations with other healthcare management platforms, as well as an extra layer of security to ensure HIPAA-compliance.
As patient care and healthcare workflows continue to trend toward telehealth and telemedicine, APIs will become increasingly valuable for health information security and interoperability between healthcare software. Cloud-based software is becoming the industry standard, and the next generation of APIs must be able to support the growing volume of data being stored. A proper API will increase efficiency, by allowing data to be stored and shared securely between applications.
How Healthie fits: Healthie already offers a fully white-labeled solution alongside the first API of a HIPAA-compliant EHR and practice management platform. Learn more here.
5. Onsite primary care for employees
With a vaccine on the horizon, many employers are beginning to create strategies for returning to in-person work next year. For a majority of employers, this means adding onsite primary care for employees. While primary care is typically a lower-cost healthcare service, transitioning to onsite care can be cost-effective for employers. Not only will onsite clinics reduce healthcare costs, but they have the potential to significantly decrease lost workdays.
Onsite care helps improve employee access to basic services that are often not obtained due to time or distance constraints. These services might include preventative screenings and immunizations — services and trends that will be crucial to controlling the spread of COVID-19 upon returning to work next year. Implementing this strategy will also help employers differentiate themselves from other companies — they can boast better healthcare benefits to potential hires.
How Healthie fits: Healthie’s EHR and practice management platform is the perfect tool for moving primary care to worksites. With easy setup and onboarding support, both employers and clinicians can leverage software when providing care for employees.
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